Lightroom for iPad

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    Topic: Lightroom for iPad Read 259 Times
  • Jack Siegel
    Jack Siegel
    Participant
    Posts: 14
    Adobe Lightroom & Adobe Camera Raw
    on: November 27, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    I wanted to share my recent experience using the Lightroom for Mobile app on my iPad.  When the iPad was first introduced, it has such potential for photographers, but the inability to directly access files pretty much put the kabosh on serious use of the iPad for post-processing.  The cost of storage was also a significant issue, as well as the limited storage capacity.

    I was excited when I learned that Apple was adding a file manager to the operating system, so I ordered a Lacie external hard drive with a built-in SD card reader.  I just sent the hard drive back to B&H.  The iPad is still not ready for prime time when it comes to post processing.  Having installed Lightroom, I quickly realized that it did not look anything like the desktop version.  What I was hoping is that I could import my images into a catalogue, and direct that they be stored on the hard drive.  I couldn’t find an obvious way to do that.  I thought I might be able to do it as a two or three step process, but I decided against taking the time.  I also found a lack of support materials on Adobe’s website.

    When I called B&H, I spoke with a rather knowledgable guy in the iPad department.  He said I could off load the files if I bought a LaCie Boss SSD hard drive–the new version arrives December 2.  Since it is SSD, it is very expensive.  I believe just under $500 for 1TB.  Even if I went that route, that would still leave me with Lightroom Mobile, which is really geared toward your phone’s camera roll.

    The B&H guy said if you really want to ditch your laptop, the Microsoft surface is the way to go.  If I were a Microsoft user, I might go that route, but I don’t want to get started.

    I also took a look at Photoshop Mobile.  I think Adobe has a long way to go before these apps are ready for prime time, so I will continue to bring my Apple Air laptop with me.

    I certainly am not the final word, and if anyone has had better experiences, I would love to hear about them.  But for me, taking the time to fight my way through the app and the technology just didn’t offer enough benefit.  It would be nice if Adobe put out a comprehensive video to support using its apps with an external hard drive.

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Participant
    Posts: 90
    Re: Lightroom for iPad
    Reply #1 on: November 28, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    Jack, yes, Apple iOS is 7 years behind Android in the development of file movement in and out of a tablet. Finally with the 7th generation iPad and iPadOS including the Files app it has become possible. I bought this set-up before a recent photo shoot in Europe and it worked well. I bought Apple’s accessory connector from SD card to lightening connector for downloading the contents of the SD card to the iPad and that works well. Photos can be managed with either Apple Photos or Adobe Lightroom for mobile. Neither application is particularly good and I wouldn’t use either on a tablet for any serious editing. Along with 50GB of iCloud storage, between the iPad and the storage it is fine for backing up one’s photos. Adobe still has a long way to go to make Lightroom mobile a good photo editor, but I wonder whether worthwhile because of the issue of reliably colour-managing a tablet screen. Anyhow, I found on this trip it sure beat lugging around a laptop and an external back-up drive. The serious editing happens back home where my colour-managed desk-top set-up provides the reliable and familiar environment for doing this exactly as I want it.

    Mark D Segal
    Author: Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop, published by LaserSoft Imaging AG
    https://www.silverfast.com/downloads/92ed080ac1ae274ea6aeed756a504f7a/en.html

    Jeff Schewe
    Jeff Schewe
    Participant
    Posts: 25
    Re: Lightroom for iPad
    Reply #2 on: November 30, 2019 at 12:55 am

    LrM wasn’t designed as a front end but rather a back end for sharing and reviewing images that start off in the full Lightroom (either CC or Classic). Some of that has been due to the limitations of the IOS more so than the Adobe ecosphere…it’s like a train…you can’t move every car in the train at once. Things happen at stages over time, but…

    In the near future I suspect that Lightroom Mobile and Photoshop for iPad may advance to the point I don’t need to carry a laptop on multiway shoots. It’s almost there now if you use a new external HD/software combo called GNARBOX. It’s an external SSD drive that can download cards and has software that allows you to do selection editing via an IOS version of Photo Mechanic and use Lightroom on iPhone/iPad for editing. You can also use mobile versions of Affinity Photo.

    Now, this would NOT replace laptop for really long trips for me, but I think a couple of days, like a weekend trip could easily be handled this way. One of the reasons I say it won’t work for me on a long trip is that the way I shoot HDR Panos with my Nikon Z7, the largest GNARBOX being 1TB just wouldn’t last long :~(

    It’s actually something I’m going to give myself for Xmas so I’ll let you know how it works…but I have hopes it may well work and if they make bigger SSD versions maybe even longer trips.

    Peter Gallagher
    Peter Gallagher
    Participant
    Posts: 9
    Re: Lightroom for iPad
    Reply #3 on: December 1, 2019 at 3:50 am

    Hmm… This is interesting. But the price of the Gnarbox is a huge premium over e.g. this portable SSD with SD card input & wifi connections. The ‘checksum verification’ doesn’t offer much (any?) advantage over ordinary file-copy error checking. IOS offers MD5 checksums as a standard library facility to developers. I guess weather robustness is good. But…

    I can’t evaluate the “Selects” software without the Gnarbox hardware. But I think LR Mobile now works with the iOS Files manager which can use an external HD as a ‘Location’ for files. Perhaps the file-picking. rating system is much better using “Selects” but it’s still a pricey piece of software/hardware.

    I have stopped using LR Mobile — and don’t intend to use PS for iPad — because it’s tied to use of the Adobe Cloud that I don’t want to use (Adobe has built a great business model charging users — not just photographers — for access to their own data!).

    A good portable storage option is the likely alternative for someone wishing to use the iPad as a primary selection, processing device. So I’ll be interested to learn whether users of the Gnarbox find it much superior to less costly options.

     

    Jeff Schewe
    Jeff Schewe
    Participant
    Posts: 25
    Re: Lightroom for iPad
    Reply #4 on: December 12, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    The most recent LrM update supports direct import on IOS 13.x with the proper cable connections. Bypasses the Camera roll… haven’t tried it so no personal experience. YMMV

    Peter Gallagher
    Peter Gallagher
    Participant
    Posts: 9
    Re: Lightroom for iPad
    Reply #5 on: December 12, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    Just tried the LR direct import routine. Seems to work well on my iPad 12.9 (3rd gen). Used both the Apple dongle and a 3rd party “port extender” to read from an SD card plugged into the USB-C port. Also faster than the Photos import routine.

    I haven’t managed to get either iOS or the iPad Files app to see a USB (spinning) disk connected through the same port extender.

     

    Jeff Schewe
    Jeff Schewe
    Participant
    Posts: 25
    Re: Lightroom for iPad
    Reply #6 on: December 13, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    Do you have a USB-C external? Pretty sure regular USB would not be port powered, you may need an external power supply for the drive. I “think” a USB-C external should work…also pretty sure SSD’s should work.

    Peter Gallagher
    Peter Gallagher
    Participant
    Posts: 9
    Re: Lightroom for iPad
    Reply #7 on: December 13, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    The dongle I have plugged into the iPad USB-C port takes a simultaneous power input that seemed to be powering the USB (-A? -B?) Seagate drive. But I suspect you are right: I’ll need either an SSD or USB-C external drive because nothing on the iPad can see the current portable drive. I think I read somewhere that the only external USB-A/B device the iPad will recognise is a mouse/trackball.

    I did not intend to use LR for the iPad to process raws because, in the past, the only way I could find to save any processed images for later inclusion in my LR (Classic) was to upload them to Adobe’s cloud.  The Adobe Photo subscription is still best value, in my view. But I don’t want to buy into their cloud-data offer (their real money-spinner outside the design/imagery business).

    But, mirabile dictu^, LR for iPad will now export a DNG of the processed file (or a TIFF) to the local iPAD ‘Files’ system that includes e.g. DropBox connections and, I’m guessing, external drives. Hoorah!

    Peter

    ^ the instructions to Gort in “The Day the Earth Stood Still”

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